What Would An SEO Professional Do?
Changing domains for any site can be a risky idea for SEO. Most SEO professionals would not suggest that you change your domain unless it is an absolutely necessity. The change of a domain could have disastrous consequences on your rankings. All of the work you have put into organically ranking your page will be basically discarded if you change the domain.
Most major search engine algorithms will connect your domain to page-level authority. When you delete or add a large number of pages, this can lead to your rankings falling quickly.
There are some reasons why website owners will commonly change domains. A domain change can be a necessary factor in a merger, rebrand or even if a person is interested in accessing a better domain name. The best SEO practices will incorporate changing the domain to make sure that SEO will not be impacted throughout the migration of your page.
How To Handle A Move The Right Way
Once you have decided to change your domain name, many webmasters develop a plan for the site. What many people get hung up on when dealing with a redesign is the shape of the pages, the new logo, the new names and more. Maintaining the organic health of a site with your re-launch plan is also important. Having a path for planning ahead in using your keywords, optimizing your tags and more can be important.
Depending on the type of website you are creating, you may even be switching your content management system. There are critical steps that you will need to take to make sure your site remains well optimized after changing a CMS and your domain. Take the basic framework from your previous site and work to change your domain with the CMS. A core list of requirements for the new site should include a list of factors that were essential in ranking your previous page. Consider some of the most important items that were used for SEO on your old page. Having these strategies in mind will help you to minimize risks during your domain transfer.
Building A Roadmap For Transfer
A roadmap for your domain transfer should have a series of changes that you are going to make starting with your brand new address. It may seem silly to have a list of each historical subdomain and an idea for each new subdomain, but this can help guide your site map and progress.
Your road map should also include a new launch date. This will make sure you can have a path for the redesign. Look at all of the tasks that you have to take on in the transfer, consider when wireframes will be approved, who approves final page copy, when the team will be done with the code and more. When you layout the complete redesign with your team on a calendar, you can quickly find out how long the process can take and when the likely day of your launch will be.
Should You Launch A Beta Site?
Before you start to send a massive amount of traffic to the page, you may want to consider the option to send a small portion of traffic towards a beta site. The majority of traffic will go towards your older domain, but you can direct some people towards the beta site to make sure that everything is working. This will make sure that you can appropriately test the site and make sure that there are no errors in navigation, hosting and more. It is wise to consider this option before ranking your page as this will make sure your page isn’t full of navigation errors or dead links.
An important SEO practice during a domain change is to use redirects. Making sure that your users are able to find your new content is important. You may have a wealth of old links that go through to your old pages or sub-pages. Redirects for each subpage and main page to your site can make sure that people will be able to find the newest content on your page. It is recommended to use a 301 permanent directive when you are changing a domain. Most users won’t even notice this type of routing and using this type of redirect will make sure that search engine crawlers will decisively decide that this redirect is a permanent process for your page.
Be Sure To Update Analytics
Updating analytics for your new site will also be a crucial element of moving over your domain. Having analytics on all of the redirected traffic will make sure that you can track marketing efforts for your rebrand or your domain move. You will want to make sure that moving your domain was a quality move for your marketing effort and having the analytics tracking to track the results can be important.
Consider some of these top ideas when you are changing domains. This can help to improve your SEO after the page is active. Contact us today for a free consultation!